When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified [the Gospel]. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:1-8, NIV 1984).
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:16–24, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Our faith does not rest on “eloquence or superior wisdom.” It rests on the simple message of the Gospel. A message so simple it confounded the scholars, philosophers and rulers of this age and ages past, and remained a mystery until revealed through the cross of Jesus Christ.
Yet while the mystery has been revealed, it is still considered “foolishness to those who are perishing.” “Wise and persuasive words” will not sway them. To them the simple “message of the cross” (the Gospel) remains a “stumbling block” and “foolishness.“
Our appeal to the perishing is not through the power of clever arguments or intellectual persuasion “lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” Our appeal is simply “Jesus Christ and him crucified – the power of God and the wisdom of God.” An appeal to the heart, not “human wisdom.“
My Advice – To the world, resolve to know nothing except “except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” To some, it will remain foolishness. To others, it has the power to save.